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Communication Expectations Resource
Effective Communication can be described as being able to express ideas, generate and share solutions, and build trust among a diverse group in order to affect change and produce positive results. Throughout your academic career at GCU, you will communicate in various ways; from e-mail, to phone calls, to Discussion Forum posts, and Class Wall posts.
Effective communication is a skill that is learned over time. You will succeed and sometimes you will fail to communicate what you were meaning, but that is part of learning. Learning from our mistakes is a big step in the right direction. This resource will assist you in learning how to effectively communicate as a student at GCU by providing several examples of effective communication in various situations.
Example 1: The Discussion Forum
Discussion Forum Question:
Think about your classmates and the diversity of online students. Explain how seeking common ground among other cultures can help you in your professional and personal life.
Poor Discussion Forum Post:
“OMG! There are so many students in this forum! It is hard to keep track of who is who. But I think it is cool how different we all are. I look forward to meeting all of uyou. Forgive all my spelling errors! LOL!”
Quality Discussion Forum Post:
“Seeking common ground is very important in both the professional and personal settings. Where I work as a pre-school teacher, I come in contact with many children who are from other cultures. I find it helpful to try and find some common ground between us like certain holidays we celebrate or foods we like to eat. This helps us get to know one another and I enjoy it also!”
Notice in the above examples that texting language is not appropriate in the academic setting. Even though posts in the Discussion Forum and Class Wall may ask for you to respond to personal questions asking you to reflect on a topic, as a college student you should answer in an effective way that will motivate your classmates to respond.
Agree to Disagree
Sometimes you will read a post in the Discussion Forum that you may not agree with and that is fine. Learning how to suspend judgment before responding to a post is an important part of communication. Sometimes a post will cause resistance, but you must learn to respond respectfully and without resistance in order to communicate.
Example 2: E-mail Etiquette
Sometimes you will need to e-mail your academic counselor, instructor, or classmate throughout your academic career at GCU. Using proper tone is an important part of effective communication.
Poor E-mail Correspondence:
I wanted to ask you about my course. The instructor is awful! He gave me an “F” on my assignment. Can you believe it? He is such a jerk. Where are you? You said you would be able to help me with stuff like this. I need help. Call me soon.
Quality E-mail Correspondence:
I wanted to contact you about my current course. So far, I am struggling. I cannot seem to pass the quizzes and am getting no feedback from my instructor. I will call you today to see if we can discuss this further. I really am frustrated and need your help.
As you can see, sometimes your correspondence might be about difficult issues, but GCU students should always strive to communicate with proper tone and use proper language in order to obtain positive results. Being specific about certain issues always provides clarity when e-mailing someone. Notice how the first e-mail lacked specific details.
Participation Expectations Resource
Get involved! Your success, enjoyment, and learning in this course are closely related to how you engage in the material being presented. In order to be eligible to earn full participation points, you are expected to contribute to the class discussion in a meaningful way with at least 2 substantive responses, on 4 out of 7 days of each online week. This means 8 posts per week in addition to your responses to the discussion questions, for a total of 10 discussion forum posts per week minimum. When the discussion centers on a lively topic, it is not unusual to read what your classmates are talking about and to post multiple notes.
Substantive participation consists of messages sent above and beyond graded assignments (e.g., original DQ response, exams, and written papers). Both quantity and quality are important considerations when posting substantive messages. For example, "I agree…" or "I see your point…" are not considered quality participation because neither adds substance to the discussion. Effective responses include:
Share personal experiences
Ask for clarification
Add additional information
Analyze the ideas and thoughts presented
Offer constructive critique
Suggest new ideas or ways of thinking about the topic
The messages must be related to the course topics and include new ideas, personal perspectives and examples, or relevant follow-up questions. Think about quality and frequency as you strike up a conversation with your fellow classmates.
Expectations for Class Discussions
Any questions about process and content should be posted in the Questions for Instructor forum as these do not count toward participation.
Read and analyze your classmate’s posts, and respond constructively.
Offer personal and professional experiences relevant to the discussion.
© 2016. Grand Canyon University. All Rights Reserved. who are from other cultures. I find it helpful to try and find some common ground between us like certain holidays we celebrate or foods we like to eat. This helps us get to know one another and I enjoy it also!”
Get involved! Your success, enjoyment, and learning in this course are closely related to how you engage in the material being presented. In order to be eligible to earn full participation points, you are expected to contribute to the class discussion in a meaningful way with at least 2 substantive responses, on 4 out of 7 days of each online week. This means 8 posts per week in addition